The Letter

She still has the letter from her final year at Hogwarts, delivered by owl even though it was sent from within the school, arriving at breakfast and deposited into her lap on a day she thought was going to be just like every other.

Dear Hermione,
Wow. It's taken me four attempts just to write your name. My hand kept shaking, like even getting your name down on paper was like confessing some terrible sin, and once it was written, that was it, there was no going back.
But what's the point in going back, right? Life is all about moving forward, moving on. And moving on - that's what I need to do. I suppose that's really why I'm writing to you. I need to get this out in the open, and not hide it away.
And it would be so easy just to hide away and pretend I don't have feelings for you, but I do. Yes, that's right. I have feelings for you. I can imagine your face reading this, jaw dropped open in surprise. Or maybe you know already - maybe you've always known. Ron always told me I wore my heart on my sleeve when I liked Harry all those years ago, maybe now I'm doing the same thing.
Of course you must have noticed. I'm only trying to fool myself by thinking that you haven't, that you've been oblivious to the way that I blush when I'm around you and it's just the two of us, the way I avoid making eye contact with you, the way I look at you. Looking at you makes me want to cry. I mean, you're so beautiful, not in the 'classic' way that Parvati is, because everyone knows she's beautiful, but there's all this wisdom and passion in your face, and it hurts that I can't have that. At least, I've always told myself I can't. Maybe there's a chance - maybe? Or maybe I'm fooling myself again, but I need to know. I can't pretend to be your friend any longer, because "friendship" doesn't even begin to describe the way I feel about you. And maybe it's going to destroy what friendship we do have, and you'll never be able to look at me again, or speak to me - but I need to tell you.
So. I suppose that's all I wanted to say. Maybe you'll tell me this is just a crush, a silly crush that I'll get over and that it doesn't mean anything - but it isn't. It really isn't.
I'm almost scared to send this now, but - here goes.
Love, Ginny.

She still remembers what she wrote as a response.

Dear Ginny,
I don't know what to say, really, except - well, you were right about me being surprised. I know you don't want me saying this is a crush, but I can't help but feel that maybe it is. You liked Harry for so long, after all, and maybe after that you needed someone else to fill the void, and I was just convenient.
You know I value your friendship and I don't want to make you feel as if I'm not taking your feelings seriously, because I am, but I just don't see how you could possibly feel that way about me. I'm not that interesting; you should know that by now, and I've never been the sort of girl that anyone really looks at with admiration.
And I think it's bloody selfish of you to have sprung this on me now, if you must know, with the exams coming up, when the last thing on my mind is romance and relationships and forcing myself to re-evaluate our friendship and everything about myself that I've always taken for granted, and I wish you'd kept it to yourself -

And she remembers crumpling up that letter and tossing it away, and taking a fresh quill out and beginning to write again.

Dear Ginny,
I have noticed. But I wasn't sure - I didn't know what to think.
Have you noticed the way I look at you, too? The way I watch you and then look away, because I've been so scared that you didn't feel the same way. And sometimes I can pretend that I just respect you as a friend and that it's nothing more than that - but I want more now, and I don't know how this is going to work out, but we can try, can't we?
Love, Hermione

She still has the letter, tucked away safely in a drawer, and she reads over it sometimes, with a delighted smile, remembering what it was like to be young and in love.

And on the other side of the bed, tucked away in a drawer, Ginny still has her letter, too.